The need for agility and sustainability in global relocation industry

Instability and the strength of Hong Kong

Relocation and immigration policies around the world have never witnessed as much turmoil as they have in recent years. Covid, Brexit, the war in Ukraine and high rates of inflation are just some of the political and economic issues which have driven immigration policy change. Barely a year ago, travel restrictions and quarantine requirements hampered the cross-border movement of people and goods. Logistics sector faces substantial headwinds in the aftermath of the pandemic. Additionally, ever-shifting societal changes are carving out new immigration approaches around the globe.

Hong Kong with its well-maintained transportation infrastructure and excellent geographic spot shares a strategic role in the Greater Bay Area initiative to create an economic hub linking Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong cities. This is expected to drive more business, trade and talent flows in the region. Though high costs of living and doing business in Hong Kong are prompting talents and companies to move to cheaper locations in Asia, Hong Kong still retains advantages for knowledge-intensive sectors like finance, logistics and professional services.

From agility, to sustainability

While the pandemic gave rise to significant changes, with new approaches to remote working, an increased focus on employees’ wellbeing and significant turmoil in immigration regulations, relocation companies were called upon to react creatively to the onslaught of challenges their customers were faced with. At times it seemed like instability had become the new normal. Industry players could pat themselves on the back for the creative and innovative ways in which they responded. 

Moving forward, Crown’s relocation and logistics teams recognise that how we design, deliver, and innovate our service must support our and our client’s sustainability objectives. We have also taken the learnings from our corporate work and made sustainability the focal point of discussions with our clients to co-create discussions that identify key areas of focus and attention as well as barriers to progress.

Knowing that a responsible business is the right thing to be, Crown has embarked on a journey and are transforming accordingly. Having looked at what our different stakeholders want from us and where we can have the most positive impact, we created a vision of what responsible business means to Crown. This led us to identify our sustainability strategy comprising three core sustainability pillars: climate and environment, people and business, and partners and community.

This demonstrates and focuses our ambition to become a more responsible business. It shows our willingness to make a positive difference to our employees, clients, wider communities, and our environment. 

Crown Worldwide Group in the UK and Ireland (Crown UK&I ) has announced a 38% cut in its Scope One and Two C02e emissions since 2019. The reduction has been driven by switching the vast majority of Crown Worldwide Group’s UK sites to 100% renewable energy, with solar panels now installed at warehouse facilities in Ruislip, Leeds, Peterborough, and Fareham. Crown UK&I has a net zero target for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040 relative to a 2019 baseline with interim targets of 45% reduction by 2025 and 65% by 2030. We are reducing our emissions annually in line with these targets. 

In 2022, the company kickstarted the journey to becoming a carbon literate organisation. Apart from the sustainability iLearn courses, we rolled out training through the Carbon Literacy Project, focused on giving participants science-based knowledge on carbon and climate change. 122 employees across the Crown Worldwide Group are now certified as carbon literate. 

Back to Hong Kong, we have upgraded our warehouses with LED lighting and motion sensor lights and office temperature are set to 25°C to reduce energy; business units have launched recycling service to collect recyclables from clients, and valvet storage service is introduced to encourage public to store and reuse their belongings instead of disposing them. Collaterals are printed with FSC certified paper and we are also actively partnering with a number of organisations to support local sustainability programs. Crown Worldwide Group Hong Kong has been recognized for our commitment to social responsibility by winning the ESG Achievement Awards 2023 organized by Master Insight. The Award recognizes companies that have demonstrated excellence in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.

As a kick off, you may wish to review how sustainability aims are governed and audited, whether you are considering your own goals or those of your supplier. This will give you a framework of targets and issues to address. In addition to external governance, having a centrally organised committee dedicated to achieving your sustainability goals will ensure progress and engender accountability. 
Crown Worldwide Group is also on a journey – guided by the same three pillars and simple, progressive approach – to evolve and build on its strong CSR legacy across the rest of the world.

Renewing resilience: Adapting to global business trends

At times it seemed like instability had become the new normal. From dealing with the pandemic, to being on top of ever-changing legislation or operational issues, along with actively and creatively solving problems, the ability to think outside the box and deal with uncertainty is vital to anyone coming into this industry.

This torrent of challenges has forced Crown Worldwide Group to adjust continuously. What has shone through as a result: our resilience. This resilience will be useful in the year ahead, it will also offer opportunities to innovate, be agile and adapt to customer behaviour. 
And if resilience is one core strength the world has shown in recent years, ‘caring’ is almost certainly another. ‘Giving back’ and ‘Caring’ – one of Crown’s core values – were among the founding principles of the company, and we have undertaken to support a whole host of worthy causes. Recognise the positive impact we can have, beyond our business operations, to support charities and those in need, and empower our employees to volunteer their skills and passions to give back to our communities. All our employees are given two paid days off a year to volunteer for a charity close to their heart. We are working to make more of this initiative and to ensure it has a genuine impact.